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The Artifact is presumably the main antagonist of Heartbound. It is an ancient book, or an entity possessing a book that is "of great power" (as put by Binder). It is an entity first encountered by Lore in the Trial Between Worlds, where it disrupted the communication between Binder and Lore and caused 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 "weren't there for him", etc.