The first thing that any player should do when they start playing Olympia is to increase the number of nobles that they have. I suggest forming 3 new nobles and oathing them to oath-1 so that they are harder to lose to opposing factions by use of bribe noble. Once there are 3 or 4 nobles in the new faction it is advisable to get a few basic skills that will allow for survival: I recommend Combat , Forestry , Shipcraft , Beastmastry , Mining  and Magic .
Here are the reasons that I recommend the above mentioned skills:
Combat because with it you are able to train soldiers which makes travel much safer. It is also a good idea to get some of the subskills of Combat while you are at it since they allow for the building of weapons, increasing swordsmanship, etc.
Foresty  is recommended since lumber can be used to produce crossbows and pikes as well as in the construction of a boat using Shipcraft. Wood can be used to construct mines in mountains or rocky hills which can produce valuable iron, gold or mithril with the right mining skill. Forestry also has a subskill that allows for the collection of opium which can be sold in a city. Opium will reduce the tax base of the city leaving less money available for other things.
Shipcraft  because this is your ticket off of Lesser Atnos where there is a large congregation of players all after their part of the continent. Staying in the safe haven city will keep you relatively safe for a while but it is possible to have monsters wander in. Otherwise any location is as safe as any other if you have a large enough force to back you up. If you decide to take to a ship I suggest having a few uncompleted skills to study on the ship, it is possible to study new subskills anywhere but remember that you only have so much gold to spend in the beginning of the game and you will need some of it to pay the men in your employ. Lumber or other building materials are a good thing to have since they can be used to produce finished items that can be sold to other players, used to equip men, or if need be repair your boat after running it into a reef. Fishing is something else that you could do if you have sailors. Be careful of how much stuff you make since you can only carry so much.
Mining  offers the "geological" skills that allow for the mining of iron, gold, and mithril. All of these metals are valuable and thus mining is a good skill to have. Gold mined is able to be spent right away and thus mining is a nice skill to have if you want to keep your soldiers from deserting you, not to mention study new skills. Iron is used to make weapons and armor, mithril is used in the construction of artifacts; it might be prudent to leave this one out until you have the means to produce artifacts so that you don't end up carrying extra baggage around with you. It is a good idea not to study the subskills under Mining  until you have found a suitable site because the gold invested in Obtaining these skills can be used for more pressing tasks.
Magic  is always a good thing to have since when funds get low you can always Perform common tasks for gold  once a month to keep your men paid and your pocket partially full. Making baskets/pots and selling them in a city is another way to accumulate wealth although this takes a little longer. And if you are really tight on cash pillaging is another option, but you will have to have at least 10 men to do this; there are dangers in pillaging so be careful, you may be attacked by an angry mob.
Beastmastry  can be used to catch wild horses, train them, capture beasts in battle and then later use them. Once you have horses you will be able to travel faster and produce stronger forces. Horses can also be purchased in plains cities. Horses are a good thing to have if you want to get somewhere fast.
Initial orders might be something like:
If your orders go for more than 30 days they will wrap into the next turn's orders. The command "stop" as the first command for a noble interrupts still executing orders so that new ones can be given.
Several objectives are evident in the game, however most require some amount of money. Also, try and determine a goal or direction for your faction. Are you going to be an explorer, a mystic, an empire builder, a master merchant or some combination. Don't try to do everything. You may be able to handle two compatible directions (explorer/merchant or empire builder/mystic), but going for more at the outset is likely to tax your resources. The following describes many methods of spending and gaining money:
Study: 100 per skill Research: 25 per attempt Bribery: Lots per attempt Maintenance: 1 peasants (per month) 2 worker, sailor, soldier, crossbowman, angry peasant 3-5 advanced soldiers Purchases: Market price for items Honor: Contract loyalty (~50 per month) Income: Inns: 45-65 per month (minus Looting) Taxes: 300/600(castle) per location (minus looting, opium) Temples: 100g per month Pillaging: 100 gold (1/3 of the tax base, repeated use causes amounts to dwindle...) Trade: Buying low, selling high in different cities Collecting: Selling to cities or to other players peasants, yew, wood, stone, fish, horses, etc. Making: Making items to sell to cities or other players Weapons (sword, etc.), armor, scrolls, baskets, clay pots, hides, etc. Repair: Shipyard & workgang to repair damaged ships Swear: Sell lord units to other players Training: Sell trained people to other players Quarrying: Sell building materials Permit: Allow entrance to a castle, ship for training or transportation purposes for a fee. Use: Use skills for people such as: Building ships or buildings or siege engines Training horses Brewing potions Mining Perform common tasks for gold Healing Information: Arrange to sell information that you have to other players, such as maps, lore sheets, trade routes, secret locations etc. Fighting: Kill monsters, or even other players in battle, and seize loot from them. Petty Thievery A skill under Stealth that allows a noble to earn between 50 and 150 gold once per month while in a city. There is a draw back to this method of enrichment though, you have a 5% chance of being beaten and loosing 5 to 15 points of health.Read the rules from cover to cover to allow yourself to get an idea of what can be done in the game.
Remember where you have been and what can be found there because you may be able to use some of what you have found in the future. It is also a good idea to look toward the future; have an idea of the skills that you will need and pick them up when you find them since it may be a while before you find them again.