One of the things that caught me off guard was how long each individual level takes in Mark of the Ninja and upon reflection I think I have worked out why. Each set of levels marks a single mission and each level merely a stage of a given mission. The tutorial is an exception in how self contained it is.
As a result each level sets up it's own goal near the start which you achieve during it, it is a little bit more narratively confusing here because as the first level of a set, it is both setting up the overall mission as well as the goal for the level itself which is why I was surprised achieving what I had thought of as a subgoal took so long.
Maybe if there had been more separation between the mission set up and the level set up I would have ended up less confused?
On a narrative note we learn this level that gaining The Mark is both a great honour but also a death sentence, it is the kind of thing that is only used in a time of great need. The question is why do I start the game with the Mark then? What actually kicked this whole thing off? The raid against the village was pretty clearly in response to something. But I don't yet know why.