Once your paladin has equipped himself, he will be displayed in the statue, where you can find a description of the selected item.
The items that you have found are well-protected in the weapons chamber.
If you are attacked regularly, the attacker probably wants either your resources or he wants to noble your village.
If there is no nobleman included in the attack, the attacker is probably just trying to plunder your resources.
Troops will march home after an attack at the same speed as their outward journey. When you send out support troops that include your paladin, all troops that march with him will move at his speed. They also march diagonal over villages, lakes and mountains without a change to their speed.