Gather wood until you have enough to build a bonfire.
Continue gathering wood until you can build a Farm and Workshop. When you get wanderers, put them to work gathering wood.
Spears are used by guards. Carts are incredibly handy, they allow most of your workers to work more efficiently (e.g. to carry 5 bundles of wood instead of just 1). Be diligent about assigning carts to your workers.
The icons at the top indicate the resources that you have. Over time, you'll get new types of resources.
Every night some beasts will attack. If there's a meteor in the sky, then you'll get the toughest monster — a monstrous spider or two.
One way to die is for the beasts to attack and you don't have enough guards, or if your guards don't have enough weapons or armor. Over time the beasts will get stronger and you'll need more/stronger guards.
Guards will be active at night and sleep during the day. Although you can reassign daytime workers to nighttime duty and vice versa, this can eventually make the workers exhausted.
(is it me, or are the hut-by-the-woods and the hut-by-the-river backwards?)
Only build huts as needed when you run out of space for your current workers.
The solar forge allows you to create the flaming sword. I don't think it's really necessary?