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The Artifact is portrayed as the (likely) main antagonist of Heartbound. It appears to be an ancient book or entity possessing a book that is "of great power" (as stated by Binder). It is an entity first encountered by Lore in the Trial Between Worlds, where it disrupts the communication between Binder and Lore, causing the appearance of Darksider Lore.
The Artifact is presumably evil, as it continuously taunts, accuses and discourages Lore during its time with him, telling him that it's "all your fault", and that he "wasn't there for him", etc.