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Environment: SP2013 Enterprise, custom master page, Dreamweaver

I've made a custom master page complete with its own CSS. My style sheets are linked near the bottom of the <head> like so:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://server/_catalogs/masterpage/CustomPage/css/style.css">

There are 5 style sheets in all, each for a different breakpoint (wide/narrow/mobile/etc). When I publish and preview the master page, only a small set of the main style.css sheet seems to be obeyed (cannot establish a reason yet). Watching the transaction through Fiddler I noticed that in addition to the correct location for the style sheets, SharePoint is also trying to get them from /_layouts/15/css/style.css and returning a 404.

I was under the impression that you can store custom style sheets anywhere, so long as the link to them is correct. So why is SharePoint looking for them in the _layouts folder in addition to the linked location? Could this be related to the styles not being obeyed?

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